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There are plenty of day trips you can do from Darwin, which allow you to see the best scenery the Northern Territory has to offer in a limited amount of time. This includes visiting Katherine Gorge and the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Kakadu National Park. Keep reading to discover the five best Darwin day trips.
Litchfield National Park is a great day trip option from Darwin, as it’s located just one hour from the capital city. The national park is known for its waterfalls like Florence and Wangi Falls, which cascade into crystal clear pools. Other things to do include following the boardwalk to the magnetic termite mounds, visiting the sandstone pillars and formations of The Lost City, swimming at Buley Rockhole, or completing the Walker Creek Walk that marks the end of the 39-kilometre (24-mile) Tabletop Track.
Visit Australia’s largest national park in Kakadu National Park, which covers nearly 20,000 square kilometres (7,722 square miles). To put that into perspective, it’s the size of the entire country of Slovenia. The UNESCO World Heritage Site is home to Aboriginal rock art that’s over 20,000 years old, rugged escarpments, cascading waterfalls, rainforest and wetlands, and millions of migratory birds. Within Kakadu National Park, take a Yellow Water Cruise for an unforgettable wildlife experience, see the sunset from Nadab Lookout, or follow the Nourlangie Rock Art Walk.
Katherine Gorge is located within the world-famous Nitmiluk National Park. The national park is home to ancient Aboriginal rock art, 13 impressive gorges carved out of sandstone, and crocodile-free swimming at Leliyn (Edith Falls). The best way to see Katherine Gorge is on a cruise or canoe ride along the Katherine River. The best time for cruising is at sunrise or sunset during the dry season (winter), as the rising and setting sun make the sandstone cliffs glow. Along the way you’ll spot rock art, sandy beaches, and native wildlife.
Located about an hour’s drive from Darwin, there are two reasons people visit Adelaide River. Firstly, in the town of Adelaide River is the 303 Bar at Adelaide River Inn, which is home to Charlie, the water buffalo that starred opposite Paul Hogan in Crocodile Dundee. Then there’s the jumping crocodiles of the river itself. There are several tour companies that offer jumping crocodile cruises on the Adelaide River. Keep your arms inside the boat, as the crocodiles jump high for their supper, and the birds try to take the meat for themselves. This is an authentic Northern Territory experience.
Corroboree Billabong is part of the Mary River Wetlands, and is located about 1.5 hours from Darwin. The Mary River has the world’s largest concentration of saltwater crocodiles, and the billabong is home to approximately 30 different bird species. On a Wetlands cruise through Corroboree Billabong, visitors can expect to see crocodiles in the water or sunning themselves on the river banks. Birds that are frequently spotted include jabirus, brolgas, egrets, whistling ducks, kites, sea eagles, and magpie geese.